Pope’s health is an ‘extreme concern’ but trip to Canada remains unchanged: Miller

OTTAWA — Crown-Indigenous Relations Minister Marc Miller says Pope Francis's upcoming trip to Canada remains unchanged at the moment, but the pontiff's health is an "extreme concern."

Miller's comments come after the Vatican announced last week the 85-year-old Pope would reschedule an upcoming trip to Africa to avoid interrupting therapy he is undergoing for his knee. 

His trip to the Congo had been scheduled to take place from July 2 to July 7, just weeks before he is set to travel to Canada to deliver a long-awaited apology to Indigenous people for the Catholic Church’s role in running residential schools 

An estimated 150,000 Indigenous children were forced to attend these church-run, government-funded institutions, where physical and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, were rampant.

Pope Francis apologized to First Nations, Inuit and Métis delegates who travelled to the Vatican earlier in the year but survivors hope to see him deliver an apology on Canadian soil.

Miller says Pope Francis's upcoming trip to Edmonton, Quebec City and Iqaluit remains on track, but his "precarious health is an extreme concern."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2022.

The Canadian Press